Chicago– If the Hawks came out with a focused effort, the Bulls didn’t have enough talent in uniform to handle them. That was no sure thing after the Hawks went overtime with the Bucks last night. But the Hawks jumped the Bulls early and then held them off when they tried to rally behind Derrick Rose.
– “They were focused and locked in,” Woody said of his players. “We didn’t lose our composure. That’s a good sign after we played an overtime game last night. Back-to-backs are tough, especially on the road.”
– The Hawks could have relaxed after Luol Deng (knee) was a late scratch to join Joakim Noah (foot) on the injured list. Instead, they handled their business “You don’t want to have a letdown,” Josh said. “You can’t think this is a just a walk-over.”
– Smoove certainly didn’t play that way. He had nine points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal as the Hawks took a 27-17 lead. Final line: 17 points, 18 boards, four assists, two steals and all kinds of energy.
– “Smoove was tremendous again tonight,” Woody said. “That’s back-to-back games. The energy he brings is unbelievable. He really got the guys going tonight.”
– Smoove finally acknowledged what’s been pretty obvious: He’s sending a message to the Eastern Conference coaches who left him off the All-Star team. “Obviously I’m playing with a chip on my shoulder,” he said. “I feel like I’ve got a lot to prove. I know the importance of these last games and I’m trying to focus on winning them.”
– His 18 rebounds paced the Hawks’ 68-37 demolition of the Bulls on the boards. “They didn’t really have a lot of guys that can rebound except for Taj Gibson,” Josh said. “So we felt like we could be aggressive on the boards.”
– Horford had 10 rebounds, Marvin and J.J. nine apiece and Zaza seven. “We finally had a game where everyone was focused on going to the boards,” Woody said.
– This game is evidence for the theory that if Jamal is hitting, then the Hawks don’t have so much trouble putting opponents away. He scored 21 points and shot 6 for 13. “It’s coming back around,” he said. “I’ve been thinking too much. I’m definitely getting my timing back.”
– Give Smoove another assist for that. Jamal said he told him to keep shooting. “He’s an extremely good shooter,” Josh said. “I do the same thing with Bibby and Joe Johnson. He can’t get down on himself. When you have a teammate behind you telling you to keep shooting, it gives you confidence.”
– This is another example of how Josh has become more assertive as a leader. His words have to carry a lot of weight when he’s playing like this. “He’s doing it all,” Jamal said. “Blocking shots, rebounding, steals, assists. He’s a great teammate. He’s genuinely happy if he scores three points and we win.”
– The Bulls had almost no chance with both Jamal and Marvin getting it done. Marvin was big when the Hawks held off the Bulls in the second half. “There are a lot of guys on this team who can really pass the ball, so I just tried to stay active, go to spots and find the ball,” he said.
– Marvin and Kirk Hinrich got called for a double technical for some jawing. Then Marvin bumped Hinrich on the way off the court at halftime. Hinrich and Bulls coaches pleaded for a second technical and ejection for Marvin but officials missed it.
– Marvin said there’s no history between the two and he doesn’t expect any carryover. “That’s just some chippy stuff out there,” he said. “I’ve always been a big fan of his. I know he’s a competitor who plays hard. I’m easygoing but I can get chippy, too.”
– Did you see Mo’s falling-down shot from behind the backboard? Amazing, and it should have been and-1. “I am waiting on the whistle, waiting on the whistle and concentrating on the shot,” he said. ” But I don’t hear a whistle and I’m like, ‘OK.’”
– Mo said he banged his back against the basket standard on that play and had a sore left shoulder and neck after a later fall. He said his arm was tingling when he shot free throws after the second fall. “I had a rough night, man,” he said.
– I’m out, Hawks fans.